Monday, December 8
This is where I want to be going in mid June when Mini Meep II is due to put in an appearance.
Yes, that's right. I am avec enfant again. Hurrah! And indeed, eeek!
ETA Can I just say that I am not a Daily Mail reader, just stumbled upon this on another site. Honest guv.
Tuesday, November 18
Friday, October 24
Tuesday, October 7
This, I kid you not, is our kitchen. Hmmm. By some miracle, I'm still managing to rustle up the odd home-baked loaf or a banana bread, so all is not lost. And hopefully by the end of Octber, this hovel will be a beautiful, retro, pastel coloured, family meeting place, with smells of gorgeous bakey cakeyness wafting from the oven.
But on a less filthy hovel-like note, here is the lounge before and after...
And although we don't have a kitchen, we do have... colour-coded book shelves. What more could you need?
Monday, September 29
I'm at work. Here's what I'd rather be doing.
That is what I would rather be doing.
Tuesday, August 26
Sunday, August 24
When you have a face like this, all smiling and happy and radiating delight and goodness and general loveliness, people are drawn to you. In fact, they are so drawn to you, they want to give you things - things like lovely, lovely food - for free.
This week, I took the snail out for lunch to the lovely Babas. Now the snail usually just eats whatever I'm having, so I thought I'd just get a big plate of gorgeousness and let her pick what she wanted. The man behind the counter thought differently - he was charmed by my beaming daughter and insisted she have a plate of food of her own - whatever she wanted. He even offered to cook something especially, in case she didn't like any of the 50-odd dishes that were already on offer. It was like dining out with the queen or Posh Spice or something. So she ended up with a mountain of food - which the smitten chef refused to charge us for. Result.
After the meal, we stopped off at the baklava shop for some pudding. Cue another Mediterranean man, my daughter fluttering her eyelashes and grinning lots. I leave the shop, having spent 80p but with an entire tray of sticky sweet treats.
I was tempted to go to Milgi down the road and try my luck with their cocktail menu. Maybe another day.
Sunday, August 17
My observations on Sundays
And that is how all Sundays should be.
Find more at Sunday Scribblings.
Thursday, August 14
Monday, July 28
My friend Jenny, lovely and amazing and fabulous though she is, decided to take us on an assault course. In the mud. On a wet weekend in winter.
I'd almost erased it from my memory, until this photo appeared on Facebook earlier today (I don't really get Facebook, but I like looking at people's photos on it).
Now it's all coming back to me... my fingers were so numb from the cold that I couldn't undo my trousers to get them off, the smelly stream I landed head first in was downstream of a field of cows and full of their stinky poo, my legs were still covered in bruises at the wedding three weeks later...
And day two? This involved more cold water, this time doing this. But me and my mate H had had enough of being cold and wet. As the other girls threw themselves into the icy swollen river, we sat on a grassy bank ogling the not-too-hard-on-the-eye, black-haired, blue-eyed 20-something instructor - her smoking a fag, me eating a tube of Pringles.
Sunday, July 20
And that's not to mention the house, which is quite literally a building site, covered in scaffolding and surrounded by a cloud of dust, which has worked its way through every tiny gap so that everything inside is covered in a thin layer of grime. So when I'm not working on work, I'm painting, sanding, varnishing, stripping (wallpaper, not myself).
I haven't seen my friends, I haven't read much, I haven't watched films, I haven't been on long walks with Blod, I haven't been to the beach. Blimey, I even had - and I can't believe I'm going to admit this - about 2cms of underarm hair growth. Blee.
I like my job, I'm happy that I have a 'skill' that people want to pay me for, I'm, chuffed to bits to have this house in this lovely village that will be fab when it's finished (in about 2012). But there is so much other stuff I want to do too.
To study meditation
To get fit again
To have more babies
To do an art class
To have a beautiful garden (no sniggering at the back)
To improve my Welsh
To write my blog more
To learn Spanish
To do a creative writing class
To get back into swimming
To do more photography modules
To get into yoga
To bake more
To make fig jam from the figs in the garden
To write a book
To read more books
To go back to volunteering
To make summer pudding with the raspberries and redcurrants in my garden
To learn to sing
To visit Italy
To do a road trip in America
To take a dance class
To learn to sew
To live by the sea
To save up and buy a campervan
To go back to Thailand
To visit Vietnam
To grow most of my own veg
Life is just so full of possibilities - how on earth are you meant to fit everything in? And how do you do everything you want to do a)well and b) mindfully? I think I need a guru.
But for this year? Finish the house is the priority. And get fit. And do another photography course. And do more cooking.
Monday, June 23
I was having a surf to see how people were celebrating it. I found some lovely ideas about candlelit evening picnics with seasonal food, baking 'sunshine cakes', making crowns and dancing in the sunshine. Then I came across this novel suggestion:
"A woman who wishes to conceive should walk naked through her vegetable garden on Midsummer's Eve, preferably picking some St Johns Wort."
On June 21st 2009, you will mostly find me starkers in my blackcurrant bush wielding a herbal antidepressant.
Better cut some of those brambles back.
Thursday, June 12
Why aren't I blogging? Because I'm Flickring instead.
Seen over at Pea Soup.
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name
Have a go.
Friday, May 30
So, in the form of a list (of course):
1. I've learnt that I like being free. Free means saying 'Oh, sod it' on a sunny day and sneaking off for a womble through some fields with your dog (last Wednesday). It means not being trapped in an office filled with suits from Next and talking about the weather. It means being able to take the day off, drive through a forest, then stop at a funny pub in the middle of nowhere for a pint of ale, some salt and vinegar crisps and a go on the rickety swing (a couple of Fridays ago).
2. I always thought that when I gave up the 9 to 5 and went freelance, I'd spend a lot of time in coffee shops, sipping Earl Grey and gazing out of the window. I have never done this. Not sure why, but I think I just like working in my slippers with tea and cake that's nicer and cheaper than evil Starbucks*. However, our village pub, which is just at the end of our street has Wi-Fi and serves a nice pint of Brains Dark, so watch this space. (Any clients that might be reading, if there are greasy marks on your proofs, I am sorry. It's the salt and vinegar crisps. They just go so well with ale.)
3. Some writing is dead glamourous and sexy. The stuff I do is most definitely not. When people ask what you do and you reply "Why, I am a top freelance writer-slash-editor-type person," they go "Oooo, what kind of things do you write?". Then you reply, "I'm a copywriter, so I write things for companies, like brochures and annual reports," and they just say "Oh".
4. You get to buy yourself a spanking new Macbook with the excuse that you need it for work and you get to claim it against your tax. And then, you get to spend half an hour taking photos of you and your dog in Photobooth (taking the picture over and over to try and get your expressions looking the same) when you should be proofreading a handbook for Medicine students.
*Other evil coffee shops are available.
Disclaimer: I am, in fact, a bit of a fraud because I do still have a part-time job too. But it is working for a mumpety charidee. And things are taking off so, who knows, maybe I could finally take the plunge and break free of the system, man.
Thursday, May 29
You are one year old. What an exciting age to be - so many things to explore and bang your head on, so many manky things to pick up off the floor and try to eat.
Your crawling has reached a most unsnail-like pace and I can hear you slapping your hands across the wooden floor as you excitedly pursue a pet through the house.
You're also trying to 'walk' on all-fours (clearly way too much time spent with the pets), which results in a lot of head-bumps and wailing - although that's easily resolved with a wave of something shiny to distract you.
You have been giving me spontaneous kisses, which is just the best thing ever, ever.
You're trying to copy what we say these days - in your own little way, mimicking the syllables when we say 'Hel-lo' or 'Thank you'. I am way too excited about you talking - can you do it soon please? I like talking. I hope you will too.
What a lot has happened to you in one year. You've gone from a teeny, tiny, sleepy bundle that didn't open her eyes for two weeks, to an almost-toddler full of energy and grins and excitement and interest. Oh, and cake.
It's been an amazing year. I'm proud of me for surviving the extreme colic and the sleepless nights, for doing my own hippyish parenting thing with slings and cloth nappies and breastfeeding and baby-led weaning. But mostly I'm proud of you for turning into the perfect smiley, happy, chilled out baby. So yay us!
Thanks for everything, you gorgeous girl.
Thursday, May 15
Two of my favourite mumpets
It's certainly been a week for all things mumpet.
Have you encountered a mumpet today?
ETA Mr Meep's sitting next to me saying that my blog used to be a comedy blog back when it started, but now it's not funny anymore. Not mumpet!
Tuesday, May 13
Alarm set for 5am to catch the morning train with all the dreary commuters in their uniform of sludge
An all day thing, so no time to pop to the Tate or meet friends
The Tube in rush hour - my worst nightmare
Got to Cardiff Central
Bought a fresh black coffee
And the softest, sweetest almond croissant
Found a quiet corner of the train
For daydreaming and looking out of the window
Watched the yellow fields of rape whizzing past
Wrote some lists about everything and nothing
Then got lost in a lovely book
And on the way back
Stopped off for suishi
And a berry muffin to eat on the train
More dreaming and scribbling and getting lost in my book
It was perfect
Friday, May 9
But it's Friday and the sun is shining and you should be doing happy things. So you bake a sponge cake, fill it with raspberries and mascarpone cream, then enjoy it with a nice mug of Earl Grey.
Saturday, May 3
Well, there's one major development this month - you are mobile. Last Wednesday, you came home from your Grandma and Grampa's house and you crawled across the stripy rug. Since then, there's no stopping you. You are all over the place, especially - of course - in all the places you're not supposed to be, like your Daddy's Wii, and your Daddy's guitar, and your Daddy's Macbook. And oh, how you would so love to get your hands on the cat. You crawl towards him at top speed, screeching with excitement. Unfortunately, you haven't twigged yet that the screeching makes him retreat to a safe baby-free corner.
This month, you've also learnt to clap your hands. You don't seem to be clapping anything in particular. You just like to sit back and show your appreciation for life once in while. And why not?
I know your first word is just dying to come out - sometimes you look at me as if you're about to say something really profound. And you do - it's something like "Urdle, lurdle, urdle, lurdle", which I think is an incredibly shrewd and valid point. I think your first word's going to be 'Blod', your Daddy thinks it'll be 'Mum'. It'll probably be 'cake', because we talk about that a lot in our house.
We've been out and about a lot lately - to the local pub, out for tapas, walking in the forest, messing about on the beach, toddler group, swimming class... you are so good and we can take you anywhere these days and know that you'll be OK. Your Daddy and I lead pretty much the same life as we did before you came along. Except with a little bit more dribble and a lot of food smeared on our clothes.
Bedtimes are my favourite times at the moment. I love you splishing in the bath, I love cuddling you dry in a towel, then kissing your head a squillon times when you're drinking your milk. But best of all, I like it when we read 'This Little Baby'. When you see yourself in the mirror on the last page, you give yourself a big kiss, then turn your head to me so I can give you a kiss too - and it melts my heart every single time.
You are a phenomenally fantastic snail.
Sunday, April 27
Stumbled upon a wood that was carpeted with wild garlic.
Climbed up a big hill...
Then found this place at the bottom of it.
Had a traditional seaside luncheon (Martin Parr would be proud).
Drove home the scenic route. Not only did we get this view, but just to the left was a man in a little van selling coffee and home-made Welsh cakes.
And now to bed with a chick lit and a mug of sleepytime tea.
Wednesday, April 23
Gwen's room before...
And Gwen's room after...
And the view from our landing window.
Tuesday, April 22
I miss blogging, I really do. I never believed people when they say they don't have time to do things, but I can honestly say it's true. Anyway, here I am, grabbing a few quiet moments, making some time.
Lovely things that are making me happy amid the chaos of my mother-charity worker-freelancer-cook-house renovator extraordinaire life.
Photographs of beautiful baby bumps (I so want to get myself another one of those quite soon)
Lovely, gorgeous, shabby chic homes
Starting my photography course again
The Juno soundtrack (and the film, which is just lovely)
Going to see the shiny happy Mike Leigh film tomorrow night
Posh cider with posh crisps
Cherry red toenails
Lambs gamboling in the fields surrounding my new country abode
Blod, the neglected pet, having a lovely swim
Tuesday, April 8
Mr Meep and I have acquired a new motor vehicle. This lovely, older than we are, Morris Minor belonged to the Meep-in-laws, but it's on loan to us indefinitely.
Here is a poem about my new set of wheels.
Lovely red seats and a tartan rug
When I'm driving you I feel quite smug
And happy that you are my car
Though I'm scared to drive you very far
You slip out of gear when we're driving down hills
Your heater's not great so you give me the chills
You've turned me into a Today programme whore
Cos your antique stereo only picks up Radio Four
My favourite thing is tooting the horn
On the way to work down country lanes at dawn
I honk at cows and I parp at sheep
I even give bunnies a jaunty little beep
Yesterday morning didn't quite go as planned
When the knob for the fresh air fell off in my hand
But I love you little Morris, you're such great fun to drive
Even though your top speed is only 55
Friday, April 4
Time is at a premium with looking after you, going to work, renovating a house, running a little business and generally trying to be a superwoman (and failing quite spectacularly). So for ten months, a little list.
10 reasons why you're fab at 10 months
1. You can wave when someone says "Hello"...
2. ... and when someone says "Goodbye".
3. You are trying really hard to say your first words - we've had a "Ba-ba" for "Bye Bye" and endless babbling but mostly we get something that sounds a bit like "Barry". Who's Barry anyway?
4. You can eat spaghetti with your fingers.
5. You can rub scrambled egg into your eyebrows, up your nose, in your ear and all over the back of your head - and still look cute.
6. You have inherited my love of cake and can spot it at 100 paces, accompanied by much panting and arm waving.
7. You start dancing when you hear music.
8. You're still not into crawling, but as we are living in a building site, this is a very good thing.
9. When I put you into your cot at night, you wriggle up to the top and bury yourself in teddies.
10. You sleep all night, (almost) every single night until 7am - finally. Thank you.
Thursday, March 27
10 – number of months old that the snail was yesterday. How did that happen?
9 – approximate number of years it will take before we complete this house renovation.
8 – number of weeks spent living in a two-bedroom bungaloid with my parents, my husband, my daughter and my dog. Cosy.
7 – number of people in my immediate family that caught a horrible tummy bug from Gwen.
6 – number of days we were trapped in aforementioned bungaloid when our car broke down.
5 – number of hundreds of pounds spent on fixing the bloody car.
4 – number of neighbours passing the house that my dad has invited in to have a look at how we getting on with the renovation.
3 – number of rooms in the new house that do not still resemble a) an old people's home or b) a building site.
2 – number of days I have been back at work after 11 months off (and, shh, don't tell the mummy police, but actually really quite enjoying it).
1 – number of cats returned to the fold after an RSPCA-reportable seven whole weeks in cat prison.
But hey-ho, the Meeps are all back together. We have a stripy rug, a real fire and oven to make cakes in. The essentials are covered.
Thursday, January 24
Oh, I wish...
I have two new freelance clients and a big project for an existing client. We're moving into our new home/building site on Monday, then moving back out again for a month while damp-proofing/rewiring and other such things happen. Oh, and I have an 8-month old baby that requires lots of entertaining and a very energetic dog.
Hang on, what am I doing on here?
Back when my head's together and my house is de-damped.
Monday, January 14
Sunday, January 13
So tonight I did my first project - this knitted flower broach. I'm going to stick it on the boring old bag that I lug Gwen's nappies and emergency poo situation spare clothing in.
OK, so I won't be appearing on Whip Up any time soon. but it's a start. And as we're moving into our wreck of a new house in a few weeks' time, there's so much scope to fill it with crafty goodies like curtains and, um, sausage dog draft excluders. Mr Meep will be delighted.
Thursday, January 10
You are turning into a proper little person these days. You laugh a lot - at the cat, at the dog, when we throw you in the air, when someone blows their nose... You've started to make a really funny face recently, sticking your bottom jaw out like Mutley. Just like your Dad, sometimes you shut everything out and go off into a little trance. I wonder what you are thinking about.
You have two teeth. Two sharp little nashers at the bottom. Unfortunately, teething came at the same time as the family Christmas cold that we all had, so the festive season wasn't a great time for sleeping.
You're getting to grips with the weaning these days, devouring chunks of roasted sweet potato, parsnip and lots and lots of toast. However, some of your naughty relatives sneaked you some of their puddings at Christmas - I thought I was a fan of all things dessert-related, but I don't think I have ever got that excited about a lemon tart. I mean, I love it, but I don't kick my legs with anticipation at the next mouthful. (I want to, of course, I just have to stop myself.)
This week, we've been on holiday with your Grandma and Grandpa Shepherd and you've been swimming for the first time. You seemed a bit scared when you first caught sight of us all half-naked with wet hair plastered to our heads. In fact, you did your special high-pitched hurty/scared scream that you only reserve for really traumatic occasions, like hitting yourself on the head with a serving spoon. But after the intial shock, you bobbed and splashed around, grinning at everyone and giggling when I threw you in the air.
Everyone that meets you thinks you are fab, even my most baby-shy friends, and your dad and I fall in love with you a little bit more every day.